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OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Sept. 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE:FGP) today announced record Adjusted EBITDA of $300.2 million for fiscal 2015, up 4% from the previous year of $288.1 million despite temperatures that were 8% warmer than the prior year. Distributable Cash Flow (DCF) to equity investors for the year was $189.6 million, producing DCF coverage of 1.12x for the 12-month period.

“We are thrilled to present strong results to our investors despite weather that was a hindrance to our core propane business,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen L. Wambold. “Strong propane margins, operational flexibility, a continued focus on expense discipline in our retail operations and our focus on our diversification strategy allowed us to offset the effect of the warmer nationwide temperatures Mother Nature handed us throughout the year.”

Propane margin cents per gallon benefited from wholesale commodity prices that were 43% lower than the prior year. Operating expense of $432.3 million was down more than 3% from the year-ago level, driven primarily by the company’s ability to flex down variable delivery costs, including personnel and fuel cost, which more than offset additional operating expenses associated with the full-year impact our midstream water solutions acquisition in May of 2014 and the impact of our Bridger Logistics, LLC (“Bridger”) acquisition in the fourth quarter.

Strong margin cents per gallon and lower operating expenses helped minimize the effect of warmer temperatures in the more highly concentrated geographic areas we serve. General and administrative expense rose to $56.4 million from $46.0 million, primarily attributable to one-time transaction costs associated with the Bridger acquisition of $16.4 million. Interest expense increased to $100.4 million from $86.5 million, reflecting increased borrowings to fund acquisition and growth capital expenditures. Net earnings for the year were $30.1 million, or $0.35 per common unit, compared to $33.7 million, or $0.41 per common unit.

During the fourth quarter Ferrellgas closed on its previously announced $822.5 million acquisition of Bridger. The Bridger transaction is a significant step toward Ferrellgas’ near-term diversification goals. Ferrellgas remains dedicated to the aggressive pursuit of accretive, complementary acquisitions in both the traditional propane space and midstream.

“Our acquisition of Bridger contributed nearly $8.6 million of Adjusted EBITDA during the short period of time we’ve owned these high-quality assets, and we continue to believe Bridger will meet or exceed our expectations in fiscal 2016,” Wambold said. “We’ve made smart business decisions over the last few years and put ourselves in position to move boldly and decisively on the acquisition front. Our midstream and propane acquisition pipelines remain robust, and we remain committed to exploring a wide range of opportunities that fit our strategic model and our growth culture.”

About Ferrellgas

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., through its operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P., and subsidiaries, serves propane customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and provides midstream services to major energy companies in the United States. Ferrellgas employees indirectly own 22.8 million common units of the partnership, or 22.7% of the outstanding units, through an employee stock ownership plan. Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. filed a Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 29, 2015. Investors can request a hard copy of this filing free of charge and obtain more information about the partnership online at www.ferrellgas.com.

FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
FOR THE THREE AND TWELVE MONTHS ENDED JULY 31, 2015 AND 2014
(in thousands, except per unit data)
Three months ended Twelve months ended
July 31 July 31
2015 2014 2015 2014
Revenues:
Propane and other gas liquids sales  $ 256,121  $ 350,557  $ 1,657,016  $ 2,147,343
Midstream operations 86,827 7,435 107,189 7,435
Other 39,563 41,038 260,185 251,082
Total revenues 382,511 399,030 2,024,390 2,405,860
Cost of sales:
Propane and other gas liquids sales 128,034 223,872 977,224 1,456,388
Midstream operations 70,526 1,970 76,590 1,970
Other 23,025 24,739 170,697 156,182
Gross profit 160,926 148,449 799,879 791,320
Operating expense 115,369 112,561 432,282 446,193
Depreciation and amortization expense 28,003 22,431 98,579 84,202
General and administrative expense 26,730 10,913 56,431 45,983
Equipment lease expense 6,599 4,767 24,273 17,745
Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge 7,985 11,400 24,713 21,789
Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charge (a) 6,281 8,326 25,982 24,508
Loss on disposal of assets 2,521 3,060 7,099 6,486
Operating income (loss) (32,562) (25,009) 130,520 144,414
Interest expense (28,599) (22,130) (100,396) (86,502)
Loss on extinguishment of debt  —  —  —  (21,202)
Other income (expense), net 65 (977) (350) (479)
Earnings (loss) before income taxes (61,096) (48,116) 29,774 36,231
Income tax expense (benefit)  (1,763)  125  (315)  2,516
Net earnings (loss) (59,333) (48,241) 30,089 33,715
Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest (b) (558) (446) 469 504
Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.  (58,775)  (47,795)  29,620  33,211
Less: General partner’s interest in net earnings (loss)  (588)  (478)  296  332
Common unitholders’ interest in net earnings (loss)  $ (58,187)  $ (47,317)  $ 29,324  $ 32,879
Earnings (loss) Per Unit
Basic and diluted net earnings (loss) per common unitholders’ interest  $ (0.64)  $ (0.58)  $ 0.35  $ 0.41
Weighted average common units outstanding 90,908.0 81,206.1 84,646.2 79,651.1
Supplemental Data and Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Items:
Three months ended Twelve months ended
July 31 July 31
2015 2014 2015 2014
Net earnings (loss) attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.  $ (58,775)  $ (47,795)  $ 29,620  $ 33,211
Income tax expense (benefit)  (1,763)  125  (315)  2,516
Interest expense 28,599 22,130 100,396 86,502
Depreciation and amortization expense 28,003 22,431 98,579 84,202
EBITDA  (3,936)  (3,109)  228,280  206,431
Loss on extinguishment of debt  —  —  —  21,202
Non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge 7,985 11,400 24,713 21,789
Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charge (a)  6,281 8,326 25,982 24,508
Loss on disposal of assets 2,521 3,060 7,099 6,486
Other income (expense), net (65) 977 350 479
Change in fair value of contingent consideration (included in operating expense)  —  5,000  (6,300)  5,000
Litigation accrual and related legal fees associated with a class action lawsuit (included in general and administration expense)  —  327 806 1,749
Unrealized (non-cash) losses (gains) on changes in fair value of derivatives  4,021  — 2,412  —
Acquisition and transition expenses (included in general and administration expense)  16,373  — 16,373  —
Net earnings (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest (b) (558) (446) 469 504
Adjusted EBITDA (c)  32,622  25,535  300,184  288,148
Net cash interest expense (d)  (27,551)  (22,179)  (96,150)  (83,686)
Maintenance capital expenditures (e)  (4,749)  (4,328)  (19,612)  (17,673)
Cash paid for taxes  (379)  (413)  (712)  (816)
Proceeds from asset sales  1,845  1,257  5,905  4,524
Distributable cash flow attributable to equity investors (f)  1,788  (128)  189,615  190,497
Distributable cash flow attributable to general partner and non-controlling interest  35  (3)  3,792  3,810
Distributable cash flow attributable to common unitholders  1,753  (125)  185,823  186,687
Less: Distributions paid to common unitholders  41,359  40,614  165,433  159,316
Distributable cash flow excess/(shortage)  $ (39,606)  $ (40,739)  $ 20,390  $ 27,371
Propane gallons sales
Retail – Sales to End Users 90,055 93,216 608,781 651,358
Wholesale – Sales to Resellers 58,997 61,548 270,065 295,212
Total propane gallons sales 149,052 154,764 878,846 946,570
Salt water volumes – Midstream operations (barrels processed) 3,801  2,500 17,035  2,500
Crude oil hauled – Midstream operations (barrel) 10,447  — 10,447  —
(a) Non-cash stock and unit-based compensation charges consist of the following:
Three months ended Twelve months ended
July 31 July 31
2015 2014 2015 2014
Operating expense  $ 942  $ 1,832  $ 5,175  $ 5,335
General and administrative expense  5,339  6,494  20,807  19,173
Total  $ 6,281  $ 8,326  $ 25,982  $ 24,508
(b) Amounts allocated to the general partner for its 1.0101% interest in the operating partnership, Ferrellgas, L.P.
(c) Adjusted EBITDA is calculated as net earnings attributable to Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., income tax expense, interest expense, depreciation and amortization expense, loss on extinguishment of debt, non-cash employee stock ownership plan compensation charge, non-cash stock-based compensation charge, loss on disposal of assets, other income (expense), net, change in fair value of contingent consideration, litigation accrual and related legal fees associated with a class action lawsuit, unrealized (non-cash) losses (gains) on changes in fair value of derivatives, acquisition and transition expenses and net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interest. Management believes the presentation of this measure is relevant and useful, because it allows investors to view the partnership’s performance in a manner similar to the method management uses, adjusted for items management believes makes it easier to compare its results with other companies that have different financing and capital structures. This method of calculating Adjusted EBITDA may not be consistent with that of other companies and should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP.
(d) Net cash interest expense is the sum of interest expense less non-cash interest expense and other income (expense), net. This amount includes interest expense related to the accounts receivable securitization facility.
(e) Maintenance capital expenditures include capitalized expenditures for betterment and replacement of property, plant and equipment.
(f) Management considers distributable cash flow to equity investors a meaningful non-GAAP measure of the partnership’s ability to declare and pay quarterly distributions to equity investors. Distributable cash flow to equity investors, as management defines it, may not be comparable to distributable cash flow to equity investors or similarly titled measurements used by other corporations and partnerships. Items added into our calculation of distributable cash flow to equity investors that will not occur on a continuing basis may have associated cash payments. Distributable cash flow to equity investors may not be consistent with that of other companies and should be viewed in conjunction with measurements that are computed in accordance with GAAP.
FERRELLGAS PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except unit data)
(unaudited)
ASSETS July 31, 2015 July 31, 2014
Current Assets:
Cash and cash equivalents  $ 7,652  $ 8,289
Accounts and notes receivable, net (including $123,791 and $159,003 of accounts receivable pledged as collateral at July 31, 2015 and July 31, 2014, respectively) 196,918 178,602
Inventories 96,754 145,969
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 64,285 32,071
Total Current Assets 365,609 364,931
Property, plant and equipment, net 965,217 611,787
Goodwill 478,747 273,210
Intangible assets, net 580,043 276,171
Other assets, net 74,440 46,171
Total Assets  $ 2,464,056  $ 1,572,270
LIABILITIES AND PARTNERS’ CAPITAL (DEFICIT)
Current Liabilities:
Accounts payable  $ 83,974  $ 69,360
Short-term borrowings  75,319 69,519
Collateralized note payable 70,000 91,000
Other current liabilities 180,687 125,161
Total Current Liabilities 409,980 355,040
Long-term debt (a) 1,804,392 1,292,214
Other liabilities 41,975 36,662
Contingencies and commitments
Partners’ Capital (Deficit):
Common unitholders (100,376,789 and 81,228,237 units outstanding at July 31, 2015 and July 31, 2014, respectively) 299,730 (57,893)
General partner unitholder (1,013,907 and 820,487 units outstanding at July 31, 2015 and July 31, 2014, respectively) (57,042) (60,654)
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) (38,934) 6,181
Total Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. Partners’ Capital (Deficit) 203,754 (112,366)
Noncontrolling Interest 3,955 720
Total Partners’ Capital (Deficit) 207,709 (111,646)
Total Liabilities and Partners’ Capital (Deficit)  $ 2,464,056  $ 1,572,270
(a) The principal difference between the Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. balance sheet and that of Ferrellgas, L.P., is $182 million of 8.625% notes which are liabilities of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. and not of Ferrellgas, L.P.